Attorneys for the family of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford appeared to make some promising strides behind the scenes this week as authorities continue to investigate the police shooting that killed the Army veteran in Alabama on Thanksgiving night. They reportedly met with the law enforcement group overseeing the investigation on Friday, one day after being shown a portion of the surveillance video footage of the 21-year-old Black man being killed by police as officers responded to a shooting at the Riverside Galleria in Hoover on Thanksgiving night.
But many other questions lingered from the deadly episode where law enforcement’s missteps prompted a call for an independent investigation in order to achieve justice.
If there was any potential silver lining for Bradford’s family, it was that two top prosecutors involved with the investigation are African-Americans. Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr and Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington, who may have a deeper level of understanding and empathy surrounding the shooting and its heavy racial implications, invited Bradford’s family lawyers to see the video Thursday, they told AL.com.
“It was a courtesy to the family and the lawyers,” Carr said. “But also, because we believe in total transparency for this process.”
Hoover is located in Jefferson County.
Details of the video were not immediately available, but at least one civil rights organization was demanding an independent investigation as well as a criminal probe by federal authorities for a number of reasons.
“On behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), I write to you with urgency to request an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of Emantic “E.J.” Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. on Thanksgiving night, November 22, 2018, by a Hoover Police Department (HPD) officer,” LDF President and Director Counsel Sherrilyn A. Ifill wrote Thursday in a letter addressed to U.S. States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay E. Town.
Bradford family lawyer Benjamin Crump on Monday released the results of an independent autopsy showing the Army veteran was shot three times from behind, including once in the head and once in the neck.
“There is a laceration of the right side of the face at the eyebrow consistent with falling face forward on the right side of the head. The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head. The manner of death is homicide,” Crump, who was joined by Bradford’s father at the press conference in Birmingham, said.
“My son was murdered by this officer,” Emantic Bradford, Sr., said in no uncertain terms during a press conference in Birmingham on Monday. “That ain’t training. That’s cowardice.”
Bradford was killed in the chaotic aftermath of the mall shooting when an officer reportedly fired at him on sight, fatally striking him. Authorities immediately announced Bradford was the mall shooter before admitting the avoidable error. At the time when he was killed, Bradford was reportedly brandishing a gun that he was licensed to carry and was helping others to escape the shooting. It turned out that Bradford’s gun was not fired. After Hoover police flubbed, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency took over the investigation and arrested the actual suspect one week after Bradford was killed.
Ifill cited those findings along with how Hoover police bungled the early part of the investigation as further reasons why independent probes were merited.
“The HPD’s initial investigation of that critical incident was riddled with errors, and the release of Mr. Bradford’s autopsy findings on December 3 raises additional questions about the conduct of Hoover police officers that demand answers. Accordingly, we request that you conduct a separate criminal investigation into this matter and consider any credible evidence of Hoover officers’ willful deprivation of civil rights, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242, to determine whether further federal action is necessary,” Ifill wrote.
54 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Willie McCoy, 201 of 54
2. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 212 of 54
3. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 3 of 54
4. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 4 of 54
5. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 5 of 54
6. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 6 of 54
7. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 7 of 54
8. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 8 of 54
9. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 9 of 54
10. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 10 of 54
11. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 11 of 54
12. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 12 of 54
13. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 13 of 54
14. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 14 of 54
15. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 15 of 54
16. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 16 of 54
17. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 17 of 54
18. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 18 of 54
19. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 19 of 54
20. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 20 of 54
21. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 21 of 54
22. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 22 of 54
23. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 23 of 54
24. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 24 of 54
25. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 25 of 54
26. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 26 of 54
27. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 27 of 54
28. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 28 of 54
29. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 29 of 54
30. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 30 of 54
31. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 31 of 54
32. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 32 of 54
33. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 33 of 54
34. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 34 of 54
35. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 35 of 54
36. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 36 of 54
37. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 37 of 54
38. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 38 of 54
39. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 39 of 54
40. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 40 of 54
41. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 41 of 54
42. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 42 of 54
43. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 43 of 54
44. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 44 of 54
45. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 45 of 54
46. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 46 of 54
47. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 47 of 54
48. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 48 of 54
49. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 49 of 54
50. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 50 of 54
51. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 51 of 54
52. Patrick Harmon, 5052 of 54
53. Jonathan Hart, 2153 of 54
54. Maurice Granton, 2454 of 54
EJ Bradford’s Family Lawyers Make Progress In Shooting Investigation As Questions Linger was originally published on newsone.com